How To Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder

So, you’re at home, you’ve bought a bag of coffee and you can’t wait to smell the sweet, crisp aroma in your home while the coffee is brewing. You open up your bag of coffee, look down….and panic. You bought coffee beans instead of coffee grounds! Oh no!

You want your morning cup of coffee (or two) and want it now, but this the only coffee you have! You don’t have a grinder, so how will we make ground coffee?

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Luckily for you, we’ve written a detailed guide on how to grind coffee beans without a grinder. We will also briefly discuss the different types of coffee grinds, and what they’re most commonly used for. Keep in mind that different methods will yield different results; some will produce finer coffee grounds and some will produce coarser grounds.

Obviously, if you have a coffee grinder, just use that. But for the rest of us, continue reading below! Be sure to bring some elbow grease, grit, and patience – some of these methods are a bit labor intensive!

Table of Contents

Ways to Grind Beans Mechanically

The vast majority of us may have blenders or food processors. If you have one of these, grinding coffee beans is a pretty simple task.

But you can’t just shove the beans in and blend it the way you would blend a smoothie; check out our strategy below.

Use a Blender

Using a blender is an easy way to grind your beans to a good consistency.

But, keep this in mind: there’s no way to make the grounds the same size. You’ll still get a usable consistency, though. 

Some blenders may have a “grind” setting, but if they don’t, not to worry! You’ll want to make sure you use a “pulse” setting, or manually blend the beans yourself.

Blending creates heat and will often “cook” the beans while you’re blending them, which you don’t want! The beans could burn, so it’s important that the whole grinding process takes about 20 seconds, perhaps 30 seconds if you really need it!

How to Grind Beans with a Blender

  1. Select the “medium-high” setting, or “grinder” setting if your blender has one
  2. Pour the desired amount of coffee into the blender (¼ cup to ½ cup of beans is ideal) and close the lid shut. Make sure it’s firmly in place!
  3. Using the pulse setting, grind the beans in time limits of 3 to 5 seconds.
  4. Repeat this process a maximum of 6 times for a maximum total of 30 seconds.
  5. If needed, tilt the blender to the side while grinding to ensure that the grind is mostly consistent.

Food Processor

Similar to the blender, this is one of your best options. This won’t be as good as a regular coffee grinder, of course, but when you’re in a pinch, this method will satisfy!

You’ll get similar results to the blender but you’ll require more beans since the circumference of the food processor is usually wider than that of a blender.

Doubling the amount of coffee should do the trick – and, if you’re only two people, you’ll already have grounds for tomorrow! Just make sure to store the leftover grounds in an airtight plastic bag.

How to Grind Beans with a Food Processor

  1. Pour the desired amount of coffee into the food processor (½ cup to 1 cup of beans) and make sure the lid is firmly in place.
  2. Using the pulse setting, grind the beans in time limits of 3 to 5 seconds
  3. Repeat the process until the desired consistency is achieved, for a total time of up to 30 seconds.
  4. If needed, tilt the food processor to ensure the grounds are roughly the same size.

Ways to Grind Beans By Hand

Now, if you don’t have a blender or a food processor, grinding coffee beans by hand is the way to go. Not only are you without a grinder, but you’re not using any other electric appliances. This method is all you.

Blenders and food processors will only carry you so far and neither of those methods will make your grounds super fine, which is where grinding beans by hand comes into play.

Just remember that these processes may take longer than the food processor and blender. They will require a bit of grit and persistence to achieve.

Rolling Pin

You can also grind your coffee using a rolling pin. This method will work best for French press coffee, since the grounds are best if they are coarser than those used for drip coffee. It is also a bit labor intensive, but will get you the results you need in a pinch.

The easiest way to grind your coffee beans using a rolling pin is to put them in a plastic bag. This way, you won’t have stray beans flying around your kitchen as you grind them down.

Try out this affordable and durable rolling pin from Amazon to grind your coffee beans.

How to Grind Beans with a Rolling Pin

  1. Place the desired amount of coffee beans in a Ziploc bag – be sure to squish out air so you don’t pop the bag!
  2. Crush the beans with the rolling pin like you would with a hammer to get the process started.
  3. Gently but firmly, drive the rolling pin over the coffee bag, applying pressure to the beans in the bag. Gather remnants to the middle and repeat.
  4. Grind to the desired consistency. Be patient; this process is labor intensive!
  5. Repeat the process as much as necessary to achieve the desired type of coffee grounds.

Tip: If you want to grind a lot of coffee beans for the week ahead, you can store your coffee grounds in a freezer bag for up to a month. But don’t leave them in the freezer too long; this may result in freezer burn.

I use these freezer bags from Amazon all the time in my home; click on the link to check them out.

Mortar and Pestle 

Mortar and pestle grinding is going to be labor and time intensive as well. You’ll want to make sure you only use about ¼ to ⅓ the capacity of your mortar to stop any overflow and prevent the beans from hopping out.

This method also makes smaller amounts of grounds than the rolling pin method, so be sure to make more if needed!

Using a mortar and pestle can create finer grounds for drip coffee or chemex coffee as well as coarser grounds used in french press coffee. It all depends on how long and how firmly you grind your beans. Be sure to grind your beans in small amounts to achieve a more consistent blend!

How to Grind Beans with a Mortar and Pestle

  1. Fill your small mortar about ¼ of the way with beans, and fill large mortars up to ⅓ full.
  2. Hold the pestle with your strong hand and the mortar with your other hand for maximum efficiency.
  3. Force the pestle down onto the beans, using it like a hammer at first before moving in a swirling motion.
  4. Once the beans have been crushed, move the pestle in a circle to grind your beans even more to create a finer grain, or until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
  5. If you need to make more coffee, remove all grounds and start again at step 1.

Use a Hammer

Using a hammer is a handy way to ensure the beans are crushed pretty well. It’s not too time consuming either. As you break down the beans, the grounds will become finer and finer.

Similar to the rolling pin technique, place the beans inside a bag and smash them. Use low to medium pressure so that the bag is less likely to pop while grinding your beans. You should not be striking the bag as you would with a nail.

You don’t need a special hammer for this; try out this one, Amazon’s choice product!

How to Grind Beans with a Hammer

  1. Place the desired amount of beans in the bag, similar to the rolling pin method.
  2. Crush the beans with the hammer but do not strike them as you would strike a nail. Instead, use the same method as the rolling pin, pressing down firmly on the hammer.
  3. Continuously move the crushed beans to one side of the bag to ensure a fine grind
  4. If a hammer is not available, use the fatter side (not the edge blade) of a large knife to crush the grounds. 

Hand Mincer or Garlic Press

This method is quite different from grinding beans with a coffee grinder, but it is quite simple. The beans are placed into the area where the garlic, meat, or other food is held, and then firmly squeezed out.

One of the glaring issues here is that the holes are usually pretty big, resulting in a bigger, coarser ground. You may need to repeat this process or combine this process with the rolling pin or hammer method.

Using the hand mincer, you can only grind a small amount of beans at a time. Put several whole coffee beans through the mincer or press, and then gather the grounds and put them through the mincer or press a second time, or as many times as you need to achieve the type of grounds you need.

If you’d like to try out this strategy, here’s a hand mincer with hundreds of high ratings from Amazon.

How to Grind Beans with a Hand Mincer or Garlic Press

  1. Place a small amount of beans into the mincer or press.
  2. Firmly squeeze the instrument until all remnants of coffee beans have passed through.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 continuously.
  4. Your grounds may be too big and too coarse for some methods, so you can run them through the press again until you’ve achieved the type of grounds you want.

Hopefully these six techniques helped you learn how to grind coffee beans without a grinder. As you can see, grinding coffee beans without a grinder can be labor intensive. But we want you to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee whether you own a grinder or not.

Before you leave, learn more about the different types of coffee grounds below.

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The 4 Different Types of Coffee Grounds

There are generally four types of coffee grounds used for brewing, and each of these methods can result in one or multiple types of grounds, permitting that you’ve repeated the process enough. The four different types of grinds you can achieve are:

  1. Coarse grind
  2. Medium grind
  3. Fine grind
  4. Super fine grind (also called ‘pulverized’)

Each of the coffee grinding methods above will result in one of these blends. The most common grind for drip coffee makers at home is medium grind, although fine grind can be used in some instances.

Below you’ll find the different types of methods we’ve described and what types of grinds you can achieve with each of these methods!

Note: To save some energy, all of these methods can produce a coarse grind.

  1. Blender – coarse, medium
  2. Food Processor – coarse, medium
  3. Rolling Pin – coarse, medium, fine
  4. Mortar and Pestle – coarse, medium, fine, super fine
  5. Hammer – coarse, medium
  6. Hand Mincer or Garlic Press – coarse, medium

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you grind coffee beans without a grinder?

Yes, you can grind coffee beans without a grinder. You can use a blender or food processor if you don’t want to grind them by hand. To grind beans by hand, use a hammer, mortar and pestle, hand mincer, or rolling pin. With each of these methods, you can make the grind as fine or coarse as you want.

Can you use a blender to grind coffee beans?

Yes, you can use a blender to grind coffee beans. When using a blender, not all of the coffee grounds will be the same size. But some blenders have a grind or pulse setting which works great. Don’t grind the beans for more than 30 seconds; blending creates heat, which may cook the beans.

What can you grind coffee beans with?

There are several different ways to grind coffee beans. Here’s a list.

  • A blender
  • Food processor
  • Hand mincer
  • Garlic press
  • Rolling pin
  • Hammer
  • Mortar and pestle

Can you grind coffee beans in a bullet?

Yes, a Magic Bullet blender works great to grind coffee beans. Just load the ingredients into the cup and firmly attach the cross blade. Then line up the tabs on the cup and the base of the blender before pressing the cup onto the blender.

To grind your coffee beans, all you need to do is apply pressure. Apply pressure and turn the cup to lock it into place.

Check out the Magic Bullet blender from Amazon right here.

What is the best way to grind coffee beans?

The best way to grind coffee beans is to use a burr grinder. It will grind your coffee beans evenly, as coarse or as fine as you’d like. The best burr grinders have multiple speeds; the lower speed is best so that no added heat is generated. If you don’t have a grinder, use a blender. Or, grind the beans by hand with a rolling pin, hammer, or garlic press.

For the best results, stay away from blade grinders which can grind the coffee beans quite inconsistently.

Try out this burr grinder from Amazon; it’s a bestseller!

Will Starbucks grind your coffee beans?

Starbucks will not grind your coffee beans. They use all of their grinders constantly and don’t want to mix the flavors of two coffee grounds. The mixture of oils in the two coffee beans would compromise the flavor of Starbucks’ coffee.

Can you grind coffee beans in the ninja?

Most Ninja blenders have more than enough power to grind coffee beans. Look for a blender with at least 500 watts of power to grind whole coffee beans consistently. You won’t need to use the higher settings to grind coffee beans with your Ninja blender. Just use it on a lower setting or pulse mode.

Is whole bean coffee better than ground?

Yes, if possible buy whole coffee beans and grind them right before you brew your coffee. This will ensure you get the freshest cup. Ground coffee is quite convenient, but it’s hard to know how long it has been sitting on the shelves. You can’t guarantee it’ll be fresh.

Can you make whipped coffee in a magic bullet?

Yes! Blend the whipped coffee for 2-4 minutes in your Magic bullet. If you are whisking the coffee by hand, whisk for about 8-10 minutes until the coffee has nice peaks. If you don’t see peaks, just keep mixing!

If you have extra whipped coffee at the end, you can scoop it out on parchment paper and freeze it. Learn more about how to make whipped Dalgona coffee in a Magic bullet.

What makes Dalgona coffee fluffy?

The sugar in Dalgona coffee helps create the fluffy peaks in your whipped coffee. Dalgona coffee is made using instant coffee, water, milk, and sugar.

Can I use ground coffee for whipped coffee?

Yes, you can use ground coffee for whipped coffee, but make sure to add enough sugar. You need about an equal amount of ground coffee and sugar to give your whipped coffee a fluffy consistency.

What is creamy coffee called?

Creamy coffee is called mocha. Mocha is made with espresso and steamed milk. Sometimes it’s topped with whipped cream, too.

What do you call coffee with milk?

Coffee with milk is called a latte, which is the Italian word for milk. Lattes are made with espresso and steamed milk. Typically, lattes include a single or double espresso shot and the rest of the drink is steamed milk.

What is dirty coffee?

Dirty coffee is made with cold milk and a double shot of espresso. The color is a dark brown which is where it gets its name “dirty coffee.”

Thanks for stopping by and reading our article on how to grind coffee beans without a grinder. Hopefully you were able to save your morning and grind up some coffee grounds, even if it was in an unconventional way.

Show your family and friends so you can all enjoy a cup of coffee!


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